In a previous post, I touched on the opportunity for lifestyle analytics to provide information for better care – specifically preventative care. In another post I discussed how having a healthy population benefits all of society. A recent article in the Wall Street journal, Tying Health Problems to Rise in Home Foreclosures, discusses a National Bureau of Economic Research publication which establishes a correlation between foreclosure rates and health of residents. Findings display a 7.2% increase in emergency room visits, 8.1% rise in diabetes and a 39% increase in visits related to suicide attempts per 100 foreclosures of people ages 20 to 49.
The results confirm the “connection between people’s economic well being and their physical well being”. In return it rectifies the need for better analytics that can go a step beyond correlations and towards causal relationships. For example, we know that an increase in unemployment rates cause a decline in the percentage of people with employer-sponsored health insurance. We also know that uninsured individuals defer healthcare and are more likely require more expensive treatment than if they had received care earlier.
The point is that analytics and reporting isn’t solely about prolonging life and generating revenue. Instead, today’s reporting and analytics offer a plethora of new and exciting options. It goes beyond meeting Meaningful Use and receiving incentives. Instead, analytics and proper reporting examines correlations and potential causal relationships between variables such as economic stability and some of the nation’s most costly medical misuses such as emergency room visits.
It is important that we remember healthcare is about providing care that improves health. This is a hurdle that the U.S. is currently struggling with – although healthcare spending has increased, we have not experienced an increase in overall health of our population. Instead, as a whole our health is declining and costing the nation (i.e. tax payers). Initiatives such as ICD-10 and Meaningful Use will assist the industry in overcoming overuse, underuse and misuse within the healthcare system. These initiatives, alongside of today’s technologies, paves the way for healthcare to improve the quality of care and quality of life in America.
Register for our upcoming ICD-10 webinar and receive a free copy of the Harvard Business Review Article, “How to Solve the Cost Crisis in Health Care” by Robert S. Kaplan and Michael E. Porter along with a copy of our most recent white paper, “Implementing ICD-10: Hard Work Brings Rewards”.